Faced with a barrage of difficulties to overcome in early life and young adulthood, including bullying, self-harm, loss and even multiple suicide attempts, her story is one of overcoming to find her identity in Christ. After over a decade at the BBC working predominantly as a broadcast journalist, and covering breaking news, she has just published her autobiography Victory Is My Name (Austin Macauley Publishers).

Those who know Nicola as the bubbly, confident and assured presence she is today might be surprised to learn of the difficult start she had in life. 

People will struggle to reconcile the girl in the book with the reality of me today, but at the same time I think that’s an amazing testament to God… it could only be God.” She hopes people want to know Jesus after reading her story and that it could even be used as a tool for evangelism amongst her friends and family that are not-yet Christians. 

There have been harrowing moments: at just six years old, she was physically assaulted in the playground in the view of teachers who did nothing. At 14, she went into care due to domestic abuse. At 17, she experienced homelessness, became legally estranged from her parents, and was rushed into an ambulance after a suicide attempt. 


As she gives readings of her book, for example of a chapter about the racism, bullying and self-loathing she experienced as a result, it’s enough to bring anyone to tears (including me!). As a young girl, Nicola experienced harsh words from family and friends scrutinising her appearance, as well as racist bullying at school which compounded an intense longing to be someone else, that led her to self-harm. 

My lowest times were when the enemy was able to convince me I was on my own, was not normal, and there was no hope,” she shares, surrounded by those lies… that you’re not going to have the life that other people have.”

"People will struggle to reconcile the girl in the book with the reality of me today, but at the same time I think that’s an amazing testament to God... it could only be God."

As she entered adolescence, she believed reading and writing was her only escape. With a lifelong love of words, from a young age, journaling became her survival tactic and a cathartic plea for help to someone, anyone, (before she knew that someone was God), to get her out of her difficult home and school life. A lover of words, hearing and telling stories has been a constant passion in her life and she would interview’ friends and family as a pre-teen to hone her budding journalistic skills.

Writing was my voice in an otherwise muted existence.”

Lost in her books, she could go anywhere; her favourites were stories about Black girls with frizzy hair who looked just like her. She always maxed out her library card and remembers crying when she couldn’t afford the books her young friends were buying at primary school.

By the age of 14, she had learned about God, prayer, salvation, that there was something greater than her and that she needed help to get out of her myriad of difficult situations. But it wasn’t until the age of 18, attending church with a family member, that she fully understood God’s presence, gave her life to God and got baptised. She felt for the first time in her life she was not alone, there was a Friend next to her who was in things with her. That was transitional for her and gave her an outlet; she went from knowing she had access to God, to actually accepting His invitation. She is now confident and secure in the loving arms of God her Father.

"The joy that defines Nicola today is drawn from a deep and daily sense of gratitude to God."

I say I’m in recovery, because any time you’ve suffered from a debilitating issue, you’re rewiring yourself every day to undo the mindset. Every day, I have to remind myself, you are normal, fearfully and wonderfully made, you are not alone and there is always hope in your future. I am always countering the lies with the presence of God.”

Throughout her adult life as a Christian, Nicola would frequently empathise with people going through dark times and would open up in intense moments and see that people would be impacted by her personal story, how much she had walked through, and her empathy as a result. She wrote down her story during lockdown as a cathartic exercise, but then felt the Holy Spirit call her to share her story publicly.

But putting it all together in a book was a different challenge altogether. How would she protect and honour all the people in her story while being authentic?

Scared is an understatement! I was terrified of how differently people would see me… It was an obedience thing.”

Bookshop photo

She had to discern God’s voice and be reassured that He would help her, even if publishing the book would bring fresh challenges.

It’s been reaffirmed by how many open doors have happened since… I’ve had reassurance all the way along of Him ordering my steps and saying, once again, you are not alone. The trade-off is that, if it serves someone, brings them to Christ, stops someone taking their life or self- harming, then it has been worth sharing my story. I wrote the book I wish I had had during my darkest times.”

The joy that defines Nicola today is drawn from a deep and daily sense of gratitude to God.

It’s survivors’ joy. I am better equipped today than I ever was. I am so grateful for another chance. I often pray, God, if you don’t give me another single thing I ask for, I am rich. If I only survived everything I went through, I am complete, I am content… He reminds me often of what He’s put inside me. He’s given me authority to command things that are not of His will to flee; I have a boldness now that I didn’t have before.”

Victory Is My Name is available from all good online book retailers now.

To connect with Nicola, you can visit nik​ki​-news​.com and follow her on socials.

Related pages:

Heart Behind the Art: an interview with Chris Poch

Heart Behind the Art: an interview with Chris Poch

An encounter at the cross, his mum’s am-dram group and a creative friendship have all inspired 31-year-old Chris to share the gospel through compelling theatre and performance


By becoming a member, you are joining the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK Find out more